Last Sunday I sent a text message during church.
Don’t judge. My pastor Pete told me to.
You see, we are in the middle of this series called Now or Never, where we are talking about living a life filled with intention, relationships, love, faith, and joy. Pete has been pushing us to think about what we’d do if we had a week left to live and to do those things now. To have those conversations now. To not wait.
As an illustration, our pastor had our congregation pull out our phones and send a text message to a friend, a family member, anyone that we felt lead to reach out to.
As I thought of the people in my life, an old college friend popped in my mind.
I texted her this:
Just wanted to send you a little text this morning to tell you how much your friendship means to me. Your encouragement, laugh, and ability to truly listen is such a gift. Though we don’t talk often, when we do I leave feeling filled up. You truly are one of the greatest blessings of my college experience. Love you.
These words hit to the depth of my heart! Thanks so much, Jess, for taking the time to say this. Means the world.
A few days later, I called her on my way home from work. Toward the end of the conversation she said, “By the way, thanks for that text. I don’t know what prompted it, but it meant a lot to me. I read it to my whole family and said stay-at-home moms never hear this stuff!”
Her words made me think about who else in my life needs a word of encouragement.
Who else needs to hear something they never hear? Who else simply needs a kind word?
As it says in Proverbs 16:24,
“Kind words are like honey sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Every Friday we have a family movie night. While snuggling with kiddos around me, I plan to write cards to 10 friends to let them know that they matter to me — and how they have impacted my story. Like the text, my messages won’t be long, but they will be heartfelt. My prayer is that when they reach my friends’ mailboxes, that the simple card will be like honey to the souls.
Might I encourage you to reach out to your own loved ones?
And if card writing isn’t your thing, consider sending a simple text. The vehicle for the message isn’t as important as the act of speaking truth and love into someone’s life.
We all have people in our lives who we love, but who maybe need that reminder.
Let’s use our words well.
To help you do that, DaySpring is giving away a bundle of greeting cards featuring encouragement from The Fringe Hours, Holley Gerth, Karen Kingsbury, and more! Simply follow the giveaway widget below (email subscribers may need to click through to the blog) to enter.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
My dad, who has since passed away, always used to encourage me in what he called, “The lost art of letter writing.” He encouraged me that since God gifted me with the blessing of words, that I needed to use them well. His words have stuck with me. How sweet a well timed word can be. I don’t know anyone, myself included, who doesn’t like to get a word of encouragement, hand written, in the snail mail. Thanks for the reminder…
Joanne Peterson says
Bev, you are gifted using your words to encourage other people. I”ve been on the receiving end, and it’s always been uplifting. (Hugs), Joanne
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
You’ve blessed me time and time again with YOUR words…
((Hugs)) sweet friend,
I used to write cards of encouragement regularly. Something I need to get back to
Megan Curran-Bucher says
I am a letter writer, too!!! Although, I’ve gotten out of the habit recently. I have one sticking out of my purse to mail as I write to send off to a college student I coached when she was in high school. I told her I would pray for her while she was at school. Thank you for the reminder that giving out encouragement is as important to outer souls as sending it out. Happy Thursday!!!
Sometimes, it’s not just words that mean the world to someone, but a smile, too. I’ve been trying to intentionally spread my smile this week to everyone I meet. It’s a way to shine love and joy into someone’s troubled day to let them know that they’re noticed and not forgotten.
Jessica, encouraging words have such power. I almost cried when I read your words to your friend. We need those reminders that we are significant, that we matter to others. And that’s the gift you gave your friend. For those of us with the gift of encouragement, it comes more easily to give those words. But, we have to be willing to give time to form and offer the words to those in our lives.
I want to be more purposeful in doing this as well. Thanks for spurring me on to do this.
What are your favorite ways to speak love into someone else’s life? anyway they need it’s so different with different people. Constant is Prayer though – writing to them, cards, little notes saying thank you. Just saying thank you. Cards of encourageent Anything like that! God is so good to us, how can we not share that goodness – memawstuff (at) gmail (dot) com
Brenda Veinotte says
Writing cards, leaving a small unexpected gift, a short text to say I miss you or I love you, a hug, etc are all ways I communicate.
Nancy Ridder says
I make quilts. God speaks to me as to who needs a quilt that time and I stitch it and give it, sometimes anonymously. Takes longer to get to completion than a letter, but is a “forever hug”. For my 80 year old mother’s birthday who literally doesn’t need any more things, I send (she lives far way) a bit of myself and write a looong letter.
Deborah Bixler says
So wonderful and thoughtful of you–bless your sweet heart! I have heard of ladies in churches making prayer shawls and giving them to shut-ins and various people with medical needs! You know you will have many stars in your crown when you get to Heaven!
Karlene Drake says
Thanks for the reminder-to take the time out my own busy-ness to love others the way God wants us to. 😉
Angela Burr says
What a great reminder of how important our words are and our encouragement can mean so much to someone.
Ann Marie says
I love this!! I think it’s such a great idea. I want all my friends to know what they mean to me.
Stephanie Stroud says
I love sending hand written notes. People understand today that we don’t always have time for things like that and when you take time out of your busy schedule to do something for someone like that, it is really truly appreciated.
I love this story and how your Pastor encouraged everyone to text during the service! It’s heartwarming to hear your words to your friend and the impact you made on her life with those words. I have been trying to live a more intentional life of reaching out *without* using my phone, but somehow I still have not increased the frequency that I pick up the phone and call someone. I even purchased several packs of greeting cards 2 years ago from Day Spring and have only used the obvious ones (birthdays, sympathy) and not the ‘you mean a lot to me’ cards. I am encouraged to reach out today to friends and family I haven’t talked to in a while. We also have Friday “movie and popcorn” night, though if I am not watching the movie intently with the kids, I have realized they feel I am not with them at all, so I will continue being wholly present for them but reach out to my friends during my work day instead. ;o)
Blessings to you,
Eunice B says
Such a good reminder….a short email, smile or even hug can speak volumes! Thanks for the challenge!
I am from Pennsylvania but I was at Cross Point that morning! I sent a text during church too….cuz when the pastor tells you to do it, you do it. Mine went to my son and I snuck another into my niece within that two minute time frame he gave us. What a cool thing to do in church- talk about keeping it real, and in real time. The impact of a single text, phrase, word or note has stayed with my husband and I since that service; we are trying to implement that kind of connecting into our every day lives with those who we know we need to reach out to, those who could use some support an encouragement.
As soon as I saw your title and read that you had texted in church – I knew we’d been at the same service! It was a powerful Sunday….
My favorite way to show love is acts of kindness. ..small gifts, homemade goodies, and handwritten cards.
I LOVE sending cards and knowing they are making an impact. As a matter of fact the past couple of years in stead of giving up anything for Lent, I committed to writing one card to someone every day! It was the best!
Aspen Dawn Ulrich says
This is a great idea! I’m always verbal in my appreciation, however I need to be more concrete. Letters and words of encouragement speak bounds.
Need to get some cards.
Eskai Foster says
I used to love to make and send cards to friends and then I had kiddos. My time was being spent in other ways. But I have really been missing sending those personal notes via snail mail. I probably don’t have time to make cards right now but I can still take a moment to write a note or send a text to a friend. Thanks for the encouragement to send those notes again and be an encouragement to others.
I love writing letters! I grab 2-3 every weekend at Trader Joe’s, and find a Bible verse to write to someone struggling. I use addresses of people I’ve met/sent things to as gifts. Even though I don’t know these people, they form some of the best friendships and I always hear back on how it blessed that person. The truth is, sitting down to write out a bible verse touches my heart more than theirs. Thanks!
This is such a powerful statement and a good reminder. Sometimes life get’s so busy I forget to encourage my friends and remind them how much they mean. I guess sometimes I take them for granted. I needed this today. Thanks!
I will send a text or a card with scripture. Sometimes I’ll add a picture I took or a sweet sentiment of some sort. My spiritual gift is encouragement so I find that this is the best way for me to reach out to others.
Beth Williams says
Loved that your pastor encouraged you to send texts. Life gets busy and we tend to think someone else will do it! I am an encourager by nature and God!! Knowing what it means to me to receive a card, text or other encouragement I want to bestow that same feeling on others. I tend to send cards, fix meals, visit people in hospital, etc. when they are ill, lose a family member, etc. I have even started sending out encouragement cards. People need to hear that what they are doing means a lot to you!
Joanne Peterson says
You are an encourager by nature, it’s obvious by your notes you give in the comments. They’re wonderful.
Missy Robinson says
I love to send letters via snail mail.
Joanne Peterson says
Thank you, this is doable. This is so true, words can be like honey or bitter, and like silver or gold. Just this morning, my littlest one was having a case of the orneries, and initially I told him what to do, and sent him to another place where he wouldn’t distract his older brother getting ready for school. This little guy had to gt ready for school too. I felt a nudge to to tell him I loved him, no matter what he does, or doesn’t do because he’s my David, and it is forever, meaning it keeps going and going, on and on, then I told him I like him and briefly we snuggled with him on my lap. Then he started his day well even with a different expression on his face. He just needed that encouragement that I still think he’s a great little boy no matter what he does.
I try to tell people what they do well, often because I know how important this affirmation is. For every negative word spoken, we need 40 positives spoken to diminish the negative. This reminds me though to pick up the phone, or e-mail, or text, or send a card to a wider circle of people who mean something to me. I know it means a great deal to me when I get the positive affirmations
I love love love love love writing letters to people!!!!!!!!! Its one of my absolute favorite ways to encourage! God tells me who to write, and He does the rest! Its awesome!
I absolutely love to send cards. I honestly believe that a card speaks so much more than just an email. I love to find a card that speaks directly to who I am writing to to make it that much more special!
I show encouragement by thanking people for what they do, like the cashier, the housekeeper at work, and our veterans. So many people never get a thank you because we think they are just doing their job. I tell people thank you and I will pray for you. This has put a smile on many faces. Thank you for your blog and the encouragement you provide
I write cards and texts as often as I can especially on days that are hard for me. When I struggle I know that others are around me, so I try to reach out to them to encourage them.
Christy Cox says
I try to send a text as soon as someone comes to mind because many times I find out later it is exactly when the person needed to hear from me.
Jen Vortriede says
I love Dayspring cards and sending encouraging cards to others. I also post encouraging verses and quotes on my Facebook page almost daily.
I’ve been blessed with having several women in my life who are master encouragers. I started keeping their notes in a “smile file” – something I still look back at, twenty plus years later, when I need a pick me up. It takes so little time to write a note, but the effects can ripple on for years.
Mary Bonner says
I am a “card sender” and people tell me that I am an encourager. I know the value of words and the hurt that can be associated with them, but I love what your pastor had you do. Thank you for this lovely reminder and I would LOVE to win the gift pack!
Audra Christensen Silva says
I like encouraging through snail mail, text and sometimes on social media. 🙂
Julie Grimes says
Personally, I’ve always loved to actually get a letter in the mail. I think it’s because that’s how my grandmother used to send love to me. Beautiful, day-in-the-life letters all through my college years and my 20s. These days, I mostly share words through phone calls, I think because I get as much benefit (usually more) than the person I call. Thinking about it, I need to pick up a pen and do more of the letter writing with a focus on the other person’s heart instead of my own. 🙂
Lindsey H. says
I love to send encouraging text messages or dropping a note in the mail.
My favourite way to encourage is by writing a note. With people in church it is real easy because we all have mailboxes in the foyer.
Patrice Gay says
Thanks for this blog Jessica. I am a note writer and probably spend more on postage than anyone I know. Whenever I open my mailbox and discover a personal card or letter, I am instantly uplifted. I like to imagine the recipients of my correspondence feel the same.
Community Group says
Texting, e-mailing or mailing them an encouraging word or card. I like to mention they are a blessing to me!
Kimberly Willibey says
Wonderful message. I am one of those who truly believes in “saying it now, as no one is promised tomorrow”
a. macdonald says
I agree with you on sending and giving encouraging words. It is what so many people, me included, need to hear and long to hear to help them keep going or refresh their soul. Thanks!
Will we ever realize the full thrust of our words? Great post.
Lina Rochette Hill says
Great reminder – thanks! I love to send cards and gifts. =)
I write letters or send texts. I love receiving words of encouragement and I try to encourage others the same way that I am encouraged. Thank you for the reminder!
Johanna Hatcher says
I love to support by encouraging others each day. Helping them realize their purpuse and them fulling it daily by showing then how to be encouragers themselves.
Jordan Taylor says
I love sending people cards/ notes when I think of them! Also, I like to text people just to check in on them, to let them know I’m thinking of them.
Phronsie Howell says
I bake things for people. Hubby has a friend from Academy that doesn’t have a lot of friends so I always make extra cookies for hubby to take and share with him.
I love to bring surprise food to people.
I love sending and making cards for others!
Gay Brown says
This is SO true. I remember time and time again when my aunt sent a card just to say “thinking about you” and it came JUST when I was feeling totally lost and “unknown” by anyone!
Tami Harbin says
10 notes seems a bit steep for me to do, but 1 is better than none, eh?! 🙂
I love to write small notes and a personal text. I know how much it means to me when I get a handwritten encouragement so I try to do the same for others.
Beth K. says
I’m a card sender – not as much as I’d like to, but good old fashioned snail mail is ALWAYS appreciated!
Nancy L S says
Cards and handwritten notes are my favorite
As we enter Thanksgiving, I’m sending a few cards in the mail letting friends know they are important to me and that I am thankful for their friendships. Love the idea of spreading encouragement, especially all that we see on the news.
Carrie Smith says
Always a good reminder – Thank you! I often enjoy sending out cards myself. And I also try to stop and actually type out a prayer when someone asks for prayers on facebook. I’ll send it to their inbox and share what’s on my heart – God uses those times to speak to me and them! 🙂
Intentionally Pursuing says
One of my favorite ways to speak love and encouragement into someone’s life is to send them a card that says I’m praying and thinking of them. : )
Amanda Pierce Jones says
I LOVE sending handwritten notes to encourage others. My stash is low, and I’d love to win these beautiful cards! 🙂
Teresa A says
Kind words are so necessary in this unkind world
Jessica B. Evans says
What a great thing to do. I occasionally write my friend who now lives a few states from me. Thanks for the post and the giveaway. 🙂
Jessica B. Evans says
I tried to subscribe to I courage by email, but I couldn’t get the button to work.
Daisy Fuentes Dronen says
I love this!! I also love that every night you have movie night!
I love this post. Jessica, you affirmed some things God’s been teaching in my own community about communication. Thanks for that.
Oh, and to answer your question … I like to text. Right now, God’s build up a community of fellow adoptive mommas around me so we’ve been texting often as they’re in the midst of the stories God is writing in their families. I’m so grateful for the way technology can connect. We text prayer requests and then sometimes get together for lunch to connect face to face.
I’m so glad to see this encouragement to write real notes. It is becoming a lost art, and yet every time I write a letter or send a card, the recipient lets me know what it meant to them. Often they ask, “How did you know what I most needed to hear?” I credit God for the inspiration of both the words and the nudge to send them. I write to a lot of prison inmates and a colorful card or kind words are a literal lifeline that they can hold in their hands – they feel so forgotten, kicked to the curb by the world. It is shocking how many are wrongfully accused and suffering rejection on top of injustice. Even those who have made terrible choices need to hear that someone cares and that God loves them. It is redeeming. It is getting increasingly difficult to afford quality cards and stationery, not to mention the postage, but I will continue to send Jesus’ love as long as I am able. Thank you for making such beautiful products, and for blessing someone with this gift.
I also enjoy writing cards and leaving encouraging Facebook posts on the person’s wall.
becky j says
i love to give little gifts and sweet cards- just because!
Nancy Wolfe @ livingcenter.me says
I have been at more than one service where we were encouraged to get right up, walk out to a phone to call someone we needed to apologize to or to forgive. Sometimes it isn’t the words or the length or the poetry – it’s just getting it done. And most of the time, I have some kind of excuse NOT to just do it. As a writer, I always feel like I have to compose and edit and revise and make it perfect. The perfect part is just doing it. Thanks so much for the reminder…xoxox
Pamela F says
I enjoy writing short notes to people, recognizing something I appreciate or am grateful for about them. I’ve tried to pick a different person each month, but would like to increase that frequency. I find that when I’m looking for good in others, it’s very easy to find!
Krista Dowdey says
Hand written notes – real mail written by hand can have a real impact if from the heart. My Great Grandma taught me that, always sending me lovely notes throughout my childhood, even though I saw her in person frequently. Now as I lead discussion group leaders at my local MOPS group, I give them note cards, stamps and pre-printed address labels to make writing the moms in their groups a short note just a bit easier 🙂
Katy Perry Brown says
Such a wonderful post. We all love being on the receiving end of sweet words. But it also feels just as good to make someone’s day with ours. I try to do this often. I absolutely love receiving snail mail in a world consumed with technology.
Kristy Mabe says
These days most of my messages are via Facebook or e-mail, but I’ve recently been thinking about writing letters. It’s a lost art that can be especially meaningful in everyone’s busy life. Plus cards or notes can be a keepsake to keep the love inside as a means of reflection on hard days. Speaking love, no matter how it’s done, is essentials. Kudos to all of you for spreading your love 🙂
Cheryl G says
I wish I could say that I send notes often, but I don’t. My love language is food. I like to prepare meals & desserts to share with others.
I love sending snail mail cards (almost as much as love getting them – happy mail amidst the junk and bills). Even just leaving a note on a friend’s desk to brighten their day. I’ll text and email from time to time, but I love the personal connection of a handwritten note!
Julie Nettleton says
Love sending encouraging notes, texts and cards 🙂
Denise Turner says
What a wonderful blog and inspiration to encourage others. Thanks for the chance to win some wonderful tools to do just that.
I send cards sometimes hand drawn and also give gifts that I think they will enjoy.
Melissa Byers says
I love to do nice things for people to show I care.
I try to write notes at least once a week.
I love to do things for others. Acts of service. Whether it be making things for them, baking/cooking, running errand, etc.
Lisa Hof says
I love sending cards! This would be a wonderful way to encourage me to do it even more!
Simple reminders: an encouraging message or text, a phone call, or if I have the time I’ll send a card.
LaVonne Beale says
This is a great reminder. I need to get back to doing this more. Emails, texts and Facebook comments are okay, but there is something extra special about getting a card.
Ally | The Speckled Goat says
I love this idea- I’ve been thinking hard about how we’re told not only love the Word, but also to do something!
My daughter loves to write letters to people to encourage them. I think it is a wonderful way to encourage!
I actually had a friend text me something similar recently. It meant the world to me and brought me to tears.
Thanks for the reminder of the importance of encouraging words! These cards would be wonderful to start sending cards of encouragement to friends. I know that I love to go to the mailbox and discover a card peeking out between the bills! It brightens my day so I in turn would love to do the same!
This is a good reminder. I remember in college I sent a thank you note to a professor for all his help & encouragement. After he died, his wife told me whenever he was discouraged, he would go to his drawer and pull out that note and read it. I need to do this again!
Michelle Watt says
I tend to show love most often by listening to what the person *doesn’t say*, looking for an opportunity to fill a need/want they aren’t intentionally broadcasting to just everyone. It might be that they need groceries, or homeschooling curriculum, or a babysitter so they can get a night out w hubby, or simply time for a shower without wondering if a toddler has opened the front door during naptime and is now standing in the street in the buff, or help catching up on laundry, or maybe it’s just acknowledging their birthday when no one else has. As much as possible, I prefer to fill that need anonymously, because I really hate the spotlight, and don’t usually care if I get the credit or not.
Andrea Lisk says
I enjoy sending encouragement cards and I also love to give gifts.
Giving words of encouragement is my favorite way to speak love to others!
Martha Troxel says
Doing something kind for others is a way I like to show love.
I love handwritten notes!
Love handwritten notes or a text. Often like to drop off a candy bar because chocolate is good too!
Hannah Fancher says
It’s funny. I felt led to reach out to my sister in law this week. Her niece was killed in a car accident and while I have thought about her and prayed for the family, I hadn’t spoken to her about it directly. So I sent her a text.
When my grandma was alive I would send her picture cards. I just found the box of them at my mom’s house. She kept every single one. I cried. It only took me 5 minutes to create those online. Made me think of all the people I could send them to. I try to send people things even when it’s not a holiday or birthday.
I am a fan of bringing just one or two cookies, tied up with ribbon. Always well received!
So true. Not just the words but letting someone know that they are loved and in the heart thoughts of another. Right Now. Today.
Sarah Centeno says
I used to make writing friends a pretty regular thing, but as I has gotten older and had kids life became more overwhelming and that habit has slipped away from me. I have an Aunt who writes cards every Sunday night, I definitely need to make this more of a priority.
I love to call, message and make small inexpensive gifts for those I love. For me a lot of times it’s the small gift that means a lot. Just taking the time to listen, to send a verse, or pray a prayer for them blesses me too.
Erin Mount says
I love sending cards to show love. I also like little gifts like a Starbucks card or their favorite candy bar.
I love writing cards, although text messages are more doable in my current phase of life.
Sherry Lee says
I love writing and receiving notes. These would be wonderful!
Lesley J. says
I am a card/note writer for sure! I love to receive cards in the mail and it’s so fun to send them as well. This would be great! Thanks.
Angela Townsend says
Thank you for this, and for the opportunity to win opportunities to send love. 🙂 I love speaking love by holding up a mirror to others’ gifts — telling them how they shine, ideally in ways they don’t see.
Cindy in PA says
A friend of mine (years ago) told me that she appreciated my Card Ministry. It was funny because I’d never named it before and I appreciated her wisdom and encouragement.
Cheryl M. says
Thank you so much for this post. I need to start doing more note writing and this was the encouragement I needed!
My mom is SO good at sending “real” mail. Birthdays, anniversaries, just because… I want to be like that because I love receiving mail & know that time and thought were put into it!
Kassi Chapman says
Such a good reminder and verse! This is a great idea!